Tara Brady on the idiosyncrasies of the Irish box office
It’s here – the only chart of 2012 that really matters: the top 10 films at the Irish box office. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the rundown – give or take a couple thou here and there – looks like this: 1. Skyfall ¤5.8 million cumulative 2. The Dark Knight Rises ¤5.3 million 3. Ted ¤4.1 million 4. Marvel Avengers Assemble ¤3.8 million 5. Ice Age: Continental Drift ¤2.7 million 6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 ¤2.5 million cumulative 7. Taken 2 ¤2.4 million 8. The Amazing Spider-Man ¤2.3 million 9. The Hunger Games ¤2.28 million 10. The Muppets ¤2.05 million
So what have we learned this year? Bond is big but not quite as popular as he is on his home turf, where the 50-year-old franchise has broken all known records. Superhero movies are shockingly big here and everywhere else. And Seth Macfarlane is disproportionately big in the ROI.
So that’s that. We can all go home now.
As if. You may have already noted the appearance of the word “cumulative” twice in the final chart. Skyfall and Twilight are still out there, raking in money and scuppering any chance we might have had for a festive break from box-office watching. Best guess says that Twilight will leapfrog over Ice Age to nab the fifth spot in the chart.
And then there’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. With an estimated worldwide take of $223 million last weekend (including ¤767,862 in the ROI), there’s a strong possibility that Middleearth will edge out The Muppets by the close of play this year. This will require staying power and traction upwards and beyond the usual healthy 50 per cent weekend-to-weekend drop. But with 66 screens in play and no competitor in sight, it would be hard for The Hobbit not to sail past the ¤2 million mark here.
Out in the wider global market, it seems most unlikely that Peter Jackson’s epic will overtake Return of the King’s $742 million Rest of World tally. Significantly, The Hobbit missed the $100-million mark Stateside. The film’s $84.6 million take fell slightly short of industry estimates. But then, that’s what they said about Avatar.
Meanwhile, down the Irish chart, an appalling lack of options for kids and families has allowed the abysmal Nativity 2 to edge toward ¤306,312. No wonder Rise of the Guardians continued to kick arse with a running total of ¤725,062 from the second spot last weekend.
Seven Psychopaths continues to poll well in third, with ¤435,285 over two weeks. Still, the same title might have profited from an August release, especially if rolled out in the spot once occupied by The Guard. Can it hang on against the incoming comedies Pitch Perfect and Parental Guidance? Or will Martin McDonagh’s latest get lost in the Christmas crush? We’ll tell you in January.